Common Truck Driving Errors in Georgia
Due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks, all types of driving errors have the potential to lead to accidents on the road. Some of the most common truck driving errors that result in serious and fatal accidents include:
Jackknife Truck Accidents in Atlanta
Jackknife accidents happen when truck drivers brake too suddenly. Under harsh braking, a truck’s cab will stop faster than its trailer, and this will cause the trailer to push the rear of the cab forward—resulting in a jackknife.
Jackknife accidents present numerous risks. Not only can the cab and trailer collide with other vehicles on the roadway, but a jackknifed truck can also leave other motorists with no place to go. As a result, read-end and chain-reaction accidents are common; and, in many cases, multiple accident victims and families will have claims against the trucking company.
Overturned Tractor Trailers and Big Rig
Our Georgia trucking accident lawyers know that harsh braking, swerving, taking turns too fast, and other common truck driving errors can also cause trucks to overturn. Similar to jackknife accidents, these accidents present a variety of risks for other motorists. If a large commercial truck or trailer overturns on top of another vehicle, this can create a life-or-death scenario. Motorists may be forced to swerve (and potentially go off of the road or collide with another vehicle) in order to miss an overturning or overturned truck, and overturned trucks present collision risks for other motorists as well.
Wide-Turn Errors by Truckers in Atlanta
In order to make turns at intersections, truck drivers must first swing one way before turning the other. While this “wide turning” technique is necessary, it also presents risks for other motorists traveling in all directions.
For example, in many cases, truck drivers will squeeze or pin other vehicles that are trying to turn in the same direction. When the truck driver swings out, another driver may attempt to occupy the space vacated by the truck, thinking that the truck will continue in the direction of the swing. But, when the truck driver subsequently begins to make the turn, the side of the trailer will come back into the other driver’s lane resulting in a side-to-side collision.
Wide turns can also lead to head-to-head collisions. These accidents also result from the truck’s initial swing, which makes it appear as though the truck will be turning one direction when in fact it will be turning the other. If an oncoming motorist attempts to turn in the same direction as the truck driver (perhaps because the truck driver never signaled), this can result in a dangerous accident caused by truck driver error.
Highway Driving Errors on Georgia Highways
Our Georgia truck accident lawyer is also well aware of the fact that many truck accidents happen on our area highways. Trucks are a constant presence on I-75, I-85 and other highways around Atlanta, and this, unfortunately, means that truck accidents are a regular occurrence as well.
Whether at highway speeds or in heavy traffic, it only takes one minor mistake to trigger a serious collision. Speeding, following too closely, braking too suddenly, merging without sufficient space, and other common truck driving errors all frequently lead to life-altering and life-threatening highway accidents.
Errors on Local Georgia Roads
Common truck driving errors on local roads include turning too sharply, failing to signal, and running red lights and stop signs. While these accidents might not involve the same speeds as accidents on the highway, they can still have the same consequences in many cases. With large trucks weighing tens of thousands of pounds, even low-speed accidents can generate more than enough force to cause major property damage and severe injuries.
Lapses in Judgment
Oftentimes, truck accidents result from lapses in truck drivers’ judgment. When operating their trucks on the road, truck drivers must remain focused and alert at all times. Common lapses in judgment that frequently lead to negligent actions and accidents include:
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs – Alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicines can all impair truck drivers’ abilities behind the wheel.
- Driving While Distracted – Distracted driving is among the leading causes of commercial truck accidents, and yet, our Georgia truck accident attorney knows that it is a cause that is completely avoidable.
- Driving Too Many Hours Without Adequate Rest – Many truck drivers make the mistake of spending too many hours behind the wheel. When fatigue sets in, truck drivers can experience impairments similar to those caused by alcohol consumption.
Overestimating the Driver’s Own Capabilities
Perhaps the single most common truck driving error that leads to accidents is overestimating drivers’ own capabilities. Oftentimes, truck drivers will assume that they can maintain control while impaired or distracted when this isn’t actually the case. Likewise, many truck drivers incorrectly believe that they will be able to prevent a jackknife or rollover under emergency circumstances. When truck drivers overestimate their capabilities, they put themselves and others in harm’s way, and they often end up creating dangerous situations that they are unable to control.